First Aid Boxes: First Aid Kits You Need to Survive in Style

So many lists and recommendations. So many first aid boxes:

  • First aid kits for vehicles
  • Fist Aid Box for  sports
  • First Aid Boxes compliant with the Health and Safety Executive, and,
  • Compliant with the BS8599
  • Personal first aid boxes
  • First aid kits for catering
  • First Aid Boxes for travellers
  • And First Aid Boxes made especially for the home

There are many first aid kits ready-made available online or you can make up a kit and select the items that you consider essential.

Whatever way you go they all serve the same purpose to render first aid to an injured person

And with that in mind doesn’t really matter where the patient is, we still need basic items in our first aid box

Continue reading “First Aid Boxes: First Aid Kits You Need to Survive in Style”

7 Reasons for Going Aquaponics Farming

Aquaponics integrating aquaculture and hydroponics.

  • Aquaculture has been practised in China for thousands of years and is the farming of fish under controlled conditions in a captive space.
  • Hydroponics is the growing of plants without soil. The plants are grown and thrive with their roots immersed in water laced with plant nutrients.

And what is the very best naturally occurring nutrient? Fish poo!

Continue reading “7 Reasons for Going Aquaponics Farming”

Home Security Tips Take Action Today to Secure Your Home

Before you spend any time considering and spending any money on a wireless burglar alarm system, there are many improvements you can make to your home security using simple and practical anti-burglar devices.

First, you need to think like a burglar.

Home security tips Number 1: Take a critical look at your home security from the outside. From the street, from the back and from your neighbours gardens, both sides.

Home Security Perimeter Fences

The back garden is the route most often used by intruders to access your home. And with the modern ninja-type burglars even a 2 metre high solid wood or brick wall is no deterrent.

Top the wall or fence with a 300mm high trellis, weak enough to break under the weight of a person trying to climb over it. The intruder will either injure himself or at least make enough noise to attract attention.

For added home security add a few strands of barbed wire camouflaged by the horizontal stringers of the trellis. Or nail these home security spikes to the top of the fence.

Front garden fences should be no higher than one meter and the same for any trees, shrubs and garden ornaments. This will make sure that anybody in the front garden can be seen from the house and from the street.

And if you are landscaping, consider gravel path around the house instead of paviors. Small stones are cheaper than paving slabs and have you ever tried to walk silently on a gravel path?

Home Security Gates

Solid wooden gates may offer some privacy but they are the easiest to climb over. Make the outside surface smooth without any crevices that can be used as a foothold.

Ornamental iron gates are easy to climb over by the very nature of the design, so consider a transparent panel on the outside to stop the intruder from using the ironwork as a foothold.

Two padlocks are better than one. One at the top and one at the bottom and if the gate is not used very often a heavy chain and padlock can be used.

And if the burglar is really intent then make it difficult for him to lift the gate off the hinges. Weld a metal piece above the hinge pins so they cannot be removed.

Garden Sheds

Garden sheds need to be made burglar proof: Not only because of the value of the equipment inside but more to stop the thief from using the ladders, hammers and crow-bars stored there to break-in to the main house.

Doors and windows need to be secure. Fit the biggest hasp-hinge-staple that the door and window frames can support.

If the garden shed is not that substantial and could easily be broken into then consider not storing in there garden tools like spades and shears as they provide perfect house-breaking-into tools. Or, maybe chain them altogether and then secure the chain to a very heavy object. A work bench for example.


Garages are also used to store garden implements, DIY power tools and the like. Perfect house-breaking-into tools that an opportunistic thief could use.

Normal up-and-over garage doors are usually secured by a simple lightweight centre lock. Not good, with a little noise easily opened. Secure the door with a mortice type lock designed specifically for up-and-over doors.

Side personal doors need to be secured the same way the back door is secured, especially if there is an internal door into the house from the garage.

Front Garden

Keeping the front garden tidy with trimmed hedges and shrubs will deter the occasional intruder as there are no places to hide.
Make the front of the house clearly visible from the road so that any person entering the property can be seen.
Keep cars, bicycles and toys secure inside the garage.
Always close and lock the garage door.

Back Garden

The rear garden is the preferred entry route for professional intruders as it affords more privacy.
Keep it tidy, eliminate the hiding places, put gardening equipment away after use.
Garden ornaments suitable for breaking glass or window frames need to be cemented in place or given away. Do you really need all those gnomes?

Back Door

The back garden is the most secluded part of most homes giving home owners privacy but also allowing intruders easy access to the back door without being seen by the neighbours. Therefore the back door needs to be especially strong and secure.

Fit a 5-lever 2 bolt sash lock at waist height and locking bolts at the top and at the bottom fitted to the strongest part of the door.

Fit hinge bolts to increase the strength of the hinge side of the door

Any glass panels in the back door need to be unbreakable glass and fitted to the door from the inside so the window glass beading or putty cannot be removed.

If unbreakable glass is not available then install ‘burglar bars’, a metal grill, across the window on the inside.

Sliding Patio Doors

Patio doors may look good and for sure when fully open allows the Summer weather into the house, but they are very easy to break into.

Some sliding patio doors can even be lifted off their track.
In this case close the gap between top of door and inside the top track by inserting short sections of wood in the track so when in the closed position the doors cannot be lifted.

Or anti-theft devices can be purchased – not to stop the door from being stolen, but to stop burglars from entering the home.

Modern patio doors are for sure a lot more secure but can still be supplemented by added home security measures.
These usually require a little drilling into the door frame and then into the sliding window frame. Fit one in the bottom frame midway along the sliding window and one on the side frame about waist high. Can be tricky to install especially with the sleek, narrow frames available today.

It can be difficult to install additional home security devices to uPVC sliding patio doors because of the complicated designs needed to strengthen them. So when buying patio doors pay particular attention to the security methods incorporated into the design.

If nothing else then fit removable lengths of 30mm by 30mm hard wood sections into the bottom track to stop the sliding door from, well, sliding.

Hinged Patio Doors

Hinged patio doors are usually two doors wide, hinged on the outside edge, swinging outwards and locked in place in the middle. By the very design they are not very strong and can easily be opened with brute force and a crowbar.

Secure each door with locking bolts at the top and at the bottom.
And as the doors swing outwards fit hinge bolts top and bottom to make it difficult to remove the doors by removing the hinge pins

Patio door glass panels

Replace ordinary glass with laminated glass. Laminated glass is like car windscreens, it splinters but is very difficult to penetrate.

Front Door

The most used door so needs to be easy to open yet impossible to open without the right keys.

The door itself needs to be made of solid wood 45 mm thick and fixed to the door frame with 3 strong 100mm long hinges.

The door frame needs to be solid wood and screwed securely to the walls every 600mm

A normal rim latch is just not strong enough.
A 5-lever mortice deadlock needs to be fitted as well. Fit the second lock 600mm above or below the rim latch.

Fit a spy hole so that you can see who is at the door before opening it

Also fit a door chain. They are not that strong but will allow you to open the door a few centimetres to talk to a visitor while still obstructing access to unwanted visitors.

Letter boxes

A letter box opening in the door allows limited access to a thief:

Don’t leave a spare key hanging on the inside.
Don’t fit security devices that can be opened by a double-jointed long-armed villain.
Fit a wire mail basket over the opening (on the inside) but remove the bottom so any object pushed through the letter box will fall to the floor out of reach of the thief

Fire Exit

While keeping all doors and windows secure from intruders there must be one recognised fire exit route in case of fire or other calamity.
Make sure all family members know the safe way out and do not secure any deadbolts when the home is occupied.


Aquaponics a Sustainable Food Source

Aquaponics is a food production system combining aquaculture and hydroponics in a symbiotic environment.

Wow! Better explain some of that.

A food production system: growing vegetables and rearing animals for eventual human consumption.

Aquaculture: Fish farming. The farming of aquatic organisms like fish, shellfish and underwater plants.

Hydroponics: Growing plants without soil. All plant types can be grown in inert substrates as long as there is water and the water contains the right plant nutrients.

Symbiotic: A relationship of mutual benefit. A close and long-lasting relationship between different organisms that usually benefits each organism.

Aquaponics is not a new food production system.
The Aztecs grew plants on Aztec-built islands. The plants being fed from mud and waste material.
The Ancient Chinese allowed fish to swim amongst the rice plants in the rice paddies.

But it wasn’t until the late ’90’s that academia became interested and proper research undertaken.

How Does Aquaponics Work

In nature organic matter decays and mixes with the soil. Bacteria breaks down the decayed matter into nitrites and nitrates that plants use for food.

Aquaponics takes advantage of the nitrogen cycle in nature. Fish waste is broken down into nitrites and nitrates which are then fed to plants. As long as the fish are fed and the water chemistry is correct the symbiotic relationship flourishes.

Combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics

Aquaponics uses aquaculture for raising fish and hydroponics for growing the plants.

The only input to the system is fish food.
The fish eat the food, excrete the waste into the water. The extrament is converted into a nitrites and nitrates that the plants can use to grow.

Three main components make up an aquaponic system: Plants, fish and bacteria.

Aquaponic Plants

Many plants thrive in an aquaponic system, however you need to select the right plants based on the maturity of the system and the number of fish in the fish tank.

Green leave vegetables like chinese cabbage, lettuce and water cress grow well with medium nutrient needs.

Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers need high levels of nutrients and a large number of fish in the tank

Aquaponic Fish Types

Fresh water fish are the most common fish for your aquaponic system.

Tilapia the most popular because they can tolerate crowding and when they are grown they can be eaten.

If you don’t want to eat the fish then koi and goldfish can be kept.


Nitrification, the conversion of ammonia from the fish effluent into nitrates is the reason why aquaponics works.

nitrogen-cycleNitrosomonas are bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrites.

Nitrobacter are bacteria that converts nitrites into nitrates.

It’s the bacteria that makes the whole system work.

The waste produced by the fish is consumed by the bacteria converting it into plant food, the plants eat the plant food in the water helping to keep the water quality safe for the fish to thrive.